New education partnership set to benefit growing seafood industry

June 13th, 2018 11:50 AM

By Southern Star Team

Pictured are Ted Owens, Chief Executive of CETB and Jim O'Toole, CEO of Bord Iascaigh Mhara, during the signing of the memorandum of understanding, also included are Kieran Calnan, Chairman of Bord Iascaigh Mhara and John Fitzgibbons, Director of Further Education and Training at CETB, at Cork ETB h

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‘BIM’s partnership with CETB is a natural fit and will complement our National Fisheries College in Castletownbere and the Seafood Innovation Hub in Clonakilty,’ declared Bord Iascaigh Mhara chairman, Kieran Calnan from Rosscarbery, at the announcement of a partnership with Cork Education and Training Board on an accredited skills programme for Ireland’s seafood industry. 

The launch, at the Cork ETB head office on Lavitt’s Quay, marked the signing of a memorandum of understanding as part of BIM’s innovative strategy to develop a comprehensive skills and training programme for Ireland’s €1.15-billion seafood industry. Jim O’Toole, the CEO of BIM, explained: ‘BIM has a new training strategy following an extensive consultation and detailed review of its training provision to the seafood sector. 

‘It is designed to address skills gaps to ensure the catching, aquaculture, processing and seafood retail sectors will have a pool of talented, professional and ambitious individuals to draw from.’

The newly-launched training strategy aims to address the new requirements for skills and training within the marine industry to ensure full market potential is achieved. While BIM currently offers a variety of training courses, there is scope to broaden the skills and training portfolio for the marine industry. 

In recognition of this, BIM has identified a wide range of additional skills to attract new entrants, upskill those already working in the industry, develop graduates of the sector and support industry executives and future leaders.

In an effort to attract young talent into this area and to facilitate those gearing up to enter into the sector, ‘point of entry’ courses will be designed and implemented and these will compete effectively for both secondary school leavers and recent college graduates. 

New traineeships, cadetships and apprenticeships will also be carefully constructed to offer relevant, industry-based, structured training and will provide an appropriate third-level qualification, designed to ensure equivalence in the wider, post-school training environment of modern Ireland. Career progression will be clearly mapped out in order to allow those operating within the industry to achieve their true potential.

The chief executive of CETB, Ted Owens, said: ‘This partnership marks a new era for CETB and we are both excited and fulfilled by the prospects it holds.’

Kieran Calnan stated: ‘CETB’s experience in further education and training will support a range of BIM’s new skills and training programmes and we are looking forward to a sustainable and productive relationship with the board.’ 

Ensuring there is a clear progression path for all learners, BIM training will be accredited and integrated to allow people to access the relevant qualifications and develop themselves throughout their careers. BIM already has a number of courses in place for 2018, with the full range of skills and training courses expected to be operational during 2019. 

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